On February 6th, 2019, residents of Harbour Terrace Condominiums observed a young woman in distress on The Board Walk in front of their building. They offered her assistance, brought her in from the brutal cold, warmed her, provided her with food, dry clothing, and began to search out options for accommodations for her. In conversation with our local police, it was identified that she could be transported to a women’s shelter in Charlottetown. When it was identified that she would possibly be transported by taxi, two of the condo residents offered to drive her to Charlottetown’s women’s shelter, Blooming House. While there has been no further contact with this young woman, she has not been forgotten nor have the circumstances of the situation been forgotten.

This encounter with such a vulnerable individual remains the incentive and momentum for local women, Margaret Fowler, Susan DesRoche, and Lydia Coulombe, to pursue efforts toward securing a much needed women’s shelter and transitional housing in Summerside.

The Committee has established LifeHouse, as the chosen name for the future shelter. The inspiration for this chosen name came from the symbolism represented by a lighthouse – a symbol of human presence and safety, especially in the face of adversity, a source of guidance for all who needs it, a representation of protection, illumination, never-ceasing watchfulness and steadfast endurance.

These are exceptionally difficult times for many individuals in our Province and one cannot help but speculate that the situation related to homelessness, family violence, mental health and wellness, etc. will escalate during these times. We choose to be proactive as opposed to reactive in planning for the potential need for increased services. We will continue our efforts to secure funding to see a safe shelter and transitional housing established locally so that no woman or child navigates the rough waters of life without shelter and support.

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